I stumbled upon this article and found it interesting, especially in the context of a country like Morocco. It describes an innovative experiment launched in Chile that basically short-circuits the traditional process of trying to boost innovation by building replicas of the Silicon Valley. In addition to being very expensive the author, Vivek Wadhwa, says this conventional way of doing things is a recipe for failure. What Chileans came up with instead is a radical approach whereby entrepreneurs are imported and subsidized to work and innovate. Simple.
Chile is trying a radical new experiment that I helped conceive, to short-circuit this process. It is importing entrepreneurs from all over the world, by offering them $40,000 to bootstrap in Chile. They get a visa; free office space; assistance with networking, mentoring, fundraising, and connecting to potential customers and partners. All the entrepreneurs have to do, in return, is commit to working hard and live in one of the most beautiful places on this planet.
The program, called Start-Up Chile, is still in the pilot stage. Chile has selected 25 teams to receive grants. Seventeen of these teams have already moved to Chile’s capital city, Santiago. The program will be officially launched on January 13, 2011. It will then be opened to the next batch of 100 startups. Chile expects to “import” around 1000 startup teams over the next three years.
Contrary to what the video in the article claims, however, Chile is not the only country in the world where you can snowboard and surf in the same day. You can do that (and more) in Morocco…. Oh, and women are as beautiful as in Chile. So if young and passionate entrepreneurs are willing to go to far away Chile to work and innovate, wouldn’t they fight to do the same in Morocco?